Submission to Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation

by Stephen Duckett

Pharmacy regulation in Australia is long overdue for reform. In particular, the government should revamp the rules relating to: the ownership and location of pharmacies; the health services that pharmacists provide; and the entities that receive funding under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. As Grattan Institute’s Stephen Duckett and Danielle Romanes write in this submission to the government-commissioned Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation, independent research and audits all show that the pharmaceutical industry has far too great an influence on its own regulation. The enduring existence of the location and ownership rules suggests that the community pharmacy sector does too. So while this review is welcome, Australia should hope that it proves to be the last of its kind. A 15-year cycle of inquiry, recommendations and further review can only be breeding public cynicism and disengagement. On pharmacy regulation, it’s time for action, not talk.